When I choose technologies to use, or employers to work for, my system is based on sticking with a few things I believe in. Datastax happens to tick quite a few of those boxes:
- Some time last year there was a strong re-commitment to open source. Where many database vendors recently have moved toward various shades of more closed licensing, this is a refreshing exception!
- The second thing I believe in is cloud. Datastax finally launched their DBaaS a couple weeks ago.
- The third thing I believe in is people. Not people in general! I mean you need to have the right people. Last year there were some leadership changes at Datastax. The new people bring credibility to both of the previous points. (And made them happen.) I'm excited to join this team!
- Apache Foundation. For whatever reason, most open source databases are VC funded single vendor products. Cassandra is like the Postgres of NoSQL. It's an Apache project with many companies contributing. I very much look forward to being part of this experience.
- Datastax is a distributed company. For the past 12 years I've mostly worked from home office. I'm most productive that way. I also believe for a company it makes sense to hire the best people, regardless of where they live.
- Back in 2009 when I first read the Dynamo paper, it was revolutionary. This was a time when the web still largely ran with MySQL replication as the HA solution. A better alternative was badly needed. For me the Dynamo paper was a shining light in the darkness. Of course, it was unsuitable as a solution for MySQL, but it gave hope that robust database replication solutions exist in this universe. And it also highlighted useful concepts, like W+R>N. A special case of this rule is majority based elections, which is widely used by other systems now, but I first got it from the Dynamo paper. I'm thrilled to finally be working hands on with a database that actually uses Dynamo.
- And then there's the Kubernetes focus. I actually know very little about Kubernetes. Some other people at Datastax know quite a bit. So there's something for me to learn as well. I know enough to appreciate this is the right thing to focus on in 2020.